Penistone War Memorial


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Statutory Address:
Market Place, Penistone, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S36 6DY


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Statutory Address:
Market Place, Penistone, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S36 6DY

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Barnsley (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference:


First World War Memorial, about 1924, designed by John Alfred Gotch of Kettering.

Reasons for Designation

Penistone War Memorial is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* a good example of the work of the notable architect John Alfred Gotch, who has numerous listed buildings to his name including several war memorials; * it is an attractive and distinctive monument, with an angle winged plinth decorated with a guilloche and flower motif.

Historic interest:

* as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the local community, and the sacrifice it made in the conflicts of the C20.

Group value:

* it benefits from a spatial group value with the church of St John (National Heritage List for England 1314709) and a possible late medieval cross base (NHLE 1191942) which was relocated to allow for the erection of the war memorial.


The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of memorials erected across England. This was the result of both the huge impact of communities of the loss of three-quarters of a million British lives, and also the official policy of not repatriating the dead, which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at their great loss.

Penistone war memorial was erected and incorporated into the west churchyard wall of the Grade I-listed Church of St John (NHLE: 1314709) as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by local servicemen who lost their lives. It was designed by leading Northamptonshire architect John Alfred Gotch of Kettering (1852-1942), architect and President of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), and carved by local sculptor E T Moore, at a cost of £600; £500 of which was raised by public subscription. The memorial, dedicated to 48 Penistone men, was unveiled by Alexander Wentworth Macdonald Bosville, sixth Lord Macdonald of the Isles, on Saturday August 9 1924. The ceremony included a united service in which clergy and ministers of all denominations took part. About sixty ex-Servicemen of the district, under Colonel Charles Hodgkinson and Lieutenant Albert Ramshaw, R N formed a guard of honour, and brought with them a wreath of laurels and Flanders poppies, which they laid in the place of honour at the foot of the memorial. After the unveiling a further 15 names of First World War servicemen were added and following the Second World War the memorial was re-dedicated with the addition of 25 names of fallen servicemen.


First world memorial with Second World War additions, about 1924, designed by John Alfred Gotch.

MATERIALS: Bolton Wood sandstone and slate panels.

PLAN: a semi-circular and half-hexagonal projecting plan form.

DESCRIPTION: the memorial forms part of the western churchyard wall to the Church of St John. It comprises a Latin cross-head set on a square tapering, and chamfered, 6m high sandstone shaft which rises from an upper moulded square plinth with words inscribed in raised lettering: (front face) IN GRATEFUL MEMORY/OF THOSE FROM/THIS TOWNSHIP/WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES/IN THE GREAT WAR/1914 – 1919 (left, north, return) 1939 – 1945. The upper plinth rests on a lower square plinth with angled wings and moulded capping, the western end faces decorated with a guilloche motif and flowers. It contains slate panels with black inscriptions naming the Fallen: three plaques on the front (west) face and one on the central panel of the right (south) return name the 57 First World War fallen servicemen and two on the angled wings of the left (north) return name 25 Second World War fallen servicemen. The plinth stands on a semi-circular and half-hexagonal and projecting three-stepped base, which is enclosed to the south by a curving half coped and coursed stone wall terminating in square piers with rectangular panels and square apex caps.


'Gotch, John Alfred (1852-1942)', rev. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004, accessed 7 May 2020 from
Barnsley War Memorial Project - Penistone War Memorial, Market Place, Penistone, accessed 7 May 2020, via
Imperial War Museum War Memorial Register - Penistone, accessed 7 May 2020, via
Sheffield Daily Telegraph Monday August 11 1924
War Memorials Online - Penistone War Memorial, accessed 7 May 2020, via


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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